dir: Michael Haneke
That guy, what do they call him? Oh yeah, the Grim Reaper.
As if life itself isn’t enough of a reminder of it, this movie reminds us why the Reaper is always preceded by the adjective ‘Grim’.
We live our lives knowing that they will end, but, to function every day, to find meaning in the little things, we have to push that thought and its attendant fear out of our minds. I’m not pretending I came up with the Denial of Death concept, or that I’m Ernest Becker. I wish. Things I’d do with all those royalties.
But we know, we know. Everyone one of us, everyone we know, who we love or hate, all of us go into that great oblivion, and thinking about it too much crushes us.
So we watch a film about two seniors, Anne (Emmanuelle Riva) and Georges (Jean-Louis Trintignant), people who’ve lived fulfilling and meaningful lives together, who’ve aged the way we all do, who still, somehow, thought the ‘end’, whatever form that would take, would somehow skip over them, at least for a while longer.
But ‘this’ is ‘it’. To be betrayed by one’s body despite not having done anything ‘wrong’. It is to be helpless in the face of mortality, like we all are, but still feel the inherent unfairness of it, because it’s always going to feel unfair.